Protecting your fruit from squirrel's and other critters


#441

My tube trap was doing great but now I am just overwhelmed with squirrels. At any given time there are 3-4 squirrels just popping fruit off the tree. I agree with a few posts above, the could not resist the chunky peanut butter until around June 1, but now I see them hopping past a freshly baited trap.

I started (and am almost finished) my “work smarter not harder” squirrel approach for next year. I have decided to hardware cloth in all areas that expose entry to the orchard from 4 ft and down, then I am going to buy a 35’x35’ mesh bird net and extend over the entire orchard (its 24’x24’). The bottom panels are three sided with the open side on the bottom, which allows me to extend the mesh into the ground 4”.


#442

It’s amazing how when the hawks showed up here, all of sudden I have no critters in sight. The chipmunks are nowhere near, not 1 squirrel dare ventured out of hiding, groundhogs are gone. It is like they knew…


#443

I could sure use a few hawks here. Right now I am also losing fruit, for the first time this year they also got ahead of me (I was away over the weekend). @Ahmad here are some pictures, I moved a couple more traps into the hot area but I should have had them there a few days ago. I set all the traps before I left town and caught five squirrels, but I needed a few more traps, three are wreaking havoc in my peaches now.

The middle picture is the hot spot, I just moved another trap there now (the lowest picture I took and then moved the trap).

Don’t be too disappointed if they walk by traps, I find they eventually get tired of peaches or whatever and want some peanut butter on the side. Just keep them baited and ready. I added some nuts for additional temptation, sprinkling them all over the area plus in the traps. The five I caught over the weekend were just with peanut butter so I don’t think the nuts are critical, but it can’t hurt.

I don’t keep a precise count, but something like 30 is an average year. This year … maybe 40 so far.


#444

Wow, you have some perseverance :slight_smile:


#445

Make that 42… I don’t have any meetings today so am working at home to keep the traps fully locked and loaded…

Here is the squirrelinator in the middle picture above now:

Here is the tube trap in the top picture now:

This tube trap is in an asian pear in the next row to the peach hot spot, its between their escape tree (in background) and the peaches. Another good place to set traps…


#446

Last time I saw that many boobie traps was in the Marine Corps.


#447

I finally found a quick and easy way to bend the u in the tube traps. Each time I see it deformed I put a piece of 1x2 in the Tube and push the handle down. It bends right back into place in 5 seconds. I take this with me each time I bait the traps now.


#448

Thanks for the tip, I will have to try it. My palms are getting bruised from all the force I need to bend them back.


#449

With the 1x2 in place it takes littke to no force to get it back into correct form. Wish I would have thought of this two years ago.


#450

How is your squirrel pressure now? I have barely seen any and cant believe we are actually able to harvest sweet corn this year. Prior to the tube traps the squirrels would decimate my corn. Not so this year.


#451

Same here. I did catch one last week but it’s rare and I haven’t seen one since - but still set up the trap. Reducing the population is a year 'round project.
Now I have to turn my efforts to the raccoons. :roll_eyes:


#452

You have been very diligent and this report gives me hope. Nabbing them in the winter is so much easier as their food choices are reduced. I figure if you get 30 in the winter it’s like 150 in the spring. I assume interrupting the breeding cycle is key.

I still have to thin for another season I think.

Great job.


#453

@ConwayOrchard, my fairly educated guess is you will have to thin them out forever. Squirrels are territorial, you eliminate the ones in your area and as soon as their scent is gone more will move in. I live in the city and get around 60 to 70 every year. By whatever means necessary.


#454

I agree. That is why soon you will see the new, improved Conway Orchard with full squirrel protection. These things haunt me day and night and starting next year they will be licking their chops from the outside of the orchard, unable to penetrate!

I may toss them one just to show them what they are missing!

LOL


#455

I see much fewer squirrels now than I used to. where I would see several every day, I might now see one or two a week…Not sure if it’s a result of the trees we had removed or the fact that I’m noticing more predatory birds in the ares…mostly hawks…either way, I’m not complaining…just hoping to hang on to my 3 remaining pears until they ripen…


#456

Can coons climb fences? Havent seen many but im sure they are around.


#457

What are you doing to keep them out?


#458

Yes they can and they climb my trellis, too!


#459

they’re great climbers…a fence won’t give them any trouble…


#460

A woven electric fence will keep them out.